What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #215: Nobody Will Believe You (dir by Damian Romay)


Last night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and I watched Nobody Will Believe You (a.k.a. Pretty Little Victim).

Why Was I Watching It?

This was actually my second time to watch Nobody Will Believe You.  I also watched it back in July but, for whatever reason, I didn’t review it despite the fact that I enjoyed the film.  I guess I must have been busy or sick in July, who knows?  Anyway, when I saw that it was going to be airing on the Lifetime Movie Network on Thursday night, I decided to rewatch it so that I could finally get around to writing this review!

What Was It About?

Melanie (Jenna Rosenow) and her daughter, Hannah (Emily Topper), have moved to a new town and, for Hannah, that means starting at a new school!  From the very first day, it’s obvious that Hannah is going to struggle to fit in.  Hannah may be nice but her classmates definitely are not.  The cheerleaders are bitchy.  The jocks are toxic.  Her best friend is alienated.  There’s a mysterious man who occasionally shows up and menacingly waves around a taser.  The only good news is that the friendly guidance counselor (John William Wright) wants to hire her to teach his daughter how to play the piano!  What could possibly go wrong?

What Worked?

I enjoyed Nobody Will Believe You because it did what every good Lifetime film does.  It shamelessly and openly embraced the melodrama.  Seriously, every possible thing that could happen to Hannah did happen to Hannah.  No sooner was Hannah getting rejected by the cheerleaders then she was saving the most popular girl in school from a falling printer.  No sooner had Hannah’s phone been hacked than someone was trying to frame her for murder.  It was such a nonstop collection of incidents that it quickly became clear to me that the film was self-aware when it came to its status as a Lifetime film.  It understood why the audience was watching and it was determined to give us exactly what we wanted.  At its best, the film worked as both a tribute to and a parody of the typical Lifetime movie.

What Did Not Work?

Obviously, for the film’s plot to work, Hannah had to be extremely naïve and trusting.  And, let’s be honest, it is true that some people are easily tricked.  Not everyone has the streetwise instincts of a suburbanite who has watched several hundred Lifetime films.  However, even with that in mind, it was sometimes hard to accept that Hannah could be as totally naïve as she often was.  Watching the movie, you sometimes got the feeling that, even if Hannah survived, she was destined to grow up to be one of those people who ends up sending their life savings to Aruba because someone contacted them on Facebook, claiming to be Garrett Hedlund.

“Oh my God!” Just Like Me Moments

When I was growing up, my family used to move a lot so I definitely could relate to Hannah’s nervousness about having to start all over again at an entirely new school.  And, when I was in high school, I got along famously with our guidance counselor.  If I hadn’t broken my ankle, maybe he would have asked me to teach his daughter to dance.  Of course, if Lifetime films have taught me anything, it’s that being hired to teach anyone anything is automatically going to lead to tragedy.

And of course, that brings us to….

Lessons Learned

Don’t teach.  Don’t offer to help anyone.  Reject any and all offers of mentorship.  It’s just going to lead to trouble.

What Lisa Watched Tonight #215: Baywatch The Movie: Forbidden Paradise (dir by Douglas Schwartz)


Earlier tonight, I watched the 1995 film Baywatch The Movie: Forbidden Paradise.

Why Was I Watching It?

The H&I network has been airing Baywatch every weekday at 5 and 6. I’ve been watching because the pure, unapologetic silliness of the show is a good way to unwind from whatever stress or annoyance I may have had to deal with during the day. Today, they aired Forbidden Paradise, which was originally released theatrically in Europe and straight-to-video in the United States. (To quote John Redcorn, “We are already straight-to-video. There is nowhere else left to go.”) A few months after its theatrical release, Forbidden Paradise was broadcast as a two-part episode of Baywatch, even though it featured characters who had since left the show. I imagine that was a bit confusing for some viewers.

(Or maybe it wasn’t. I doubt the majority Baywatch’s audience was particularly concerned with continuity.)

What Was It About?

The Baywatch team goes to Hawaii! Well, not all of them. Actually, it’s just Mitch (David Hasselhoff), CJ (Pamela Anderson), Stephanie (Alexandra Paul), Caroline (Yasmine Bleeth), Logan (Jaason Simmons), and Matt (David Charvet). They’re supposed to be taking part in a lifeguard exchange program but, as usual, it turns out that Stephanie is the only one who actually gives a damn about doing her job.

Instead, CJ considered whether or not she wants to model for a dorky photographer. Logan becomes obsessed with winning a surfing competition while Caroline obsesses on why Logan is always obsessing on stuff. Mitch and Matt end up getting lost in the jungle and briefly taken prisoner by a bunch of native villagers. It all leads to a chase through the jungle and an engagement on the beach. Stephanie helps that Hawaiian lifeguards save someone from drowning. At least Stephanie takes her job seriously.

What Worked?

Baywatch The Movie: Forbidden Paradise was actually filmed on location in Hawaii so the scenery was gorgeous. It was also apparently shot in approximately the same location as Lost so, whenever I got bored with the plot, I could think about Sawyer and the Others. This was especially true while David Hasselhoff and David Charvet were being chased through the jungle by all of the angry villagers. I felt like the Smoke Monster was going to pop out at any moment.

As with anything involving Baywatch, it could be argued that the whole film was so ludicrous that it worked as a self-parody. I’m certainly tempted to make that argument but I’m not really sure if any of the self-parody was intentional. That’s the great mystery when it comes to Baywatch.

What Did Not Work?

If you consider this movie to be a self-aware parody, than it all worked.

If you consider it to be an actual movie, with a plot and characters that you’re supposed to care about and interesting dialogue, than none of it worked. I mean, it’s Baywatch. It’s the adult version of Saved By The Bell. It’s entertainingly shallow but it’s never exactly good.

Probably the film’s biggest flaw is that the pacing is totally off. It seems to take forever for the film’s plot to actually get started and then, once it does, it keeps going off on these strange detours. For some reason, a lot of screen time is devoted to a model named Holly (Hedi Mark) and a remarkably unlucky photographer named Carlton Edwards (Ricky Dean Logan).

Myself, I was disappointed that David Chokachi (who played Cody, the lifeguard best-known for wearing a speedo in the opening credits) wasn’t even in the film.

“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments

I’ve been to Hawaii! Seriously, I had a great time and I look forward to returning soon.

Lessons Learned

I refuse to learn anything from Baywatch.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #214: The Wrong Real Estate Agent (dir by David DeCoteau)


Last night, I watched the first Lifetime premiere of 2021, The Wrong Real Estate Agent!

Why Was I Watching It?

It was the first Lifetime film of 2021 so how couldn’t I watch it?

Add to that, I love the “Wrong” series.  The “Wrong” films are all directed by David DeCoteau and they all feature Vivica A. Fox in a supporting (or, in this case, a lead) role.  These films are always a lot of fun and, since they’re all filmed in Canada, there’s always chance you might spot someone from Degrassi in the cast.

(Admittedly, The Wrong Real Estate Agent is the rare “Wrong” film to feature no one from Degrassi.  But it’s the first Lifetime film of 2021 so we won’t hold that against it.)

What Was It About?

Julie (Vivica A. Fox) and her daughter Maddie (Alaya Lee Walton) have just moved into a wonderful, beautiful house but, unfortunately, they’re renting from the wrong real estate agent!  Charles (Andres Londono) used to date Julie and it’s obvious that he wants to win her back.  However, Charles’s idea of how to win someone back involves a lot of lies and a lot of murder.

Soon after moving into their new home, Julie and Maddie begin hearing strange sounds and seeing weird movement in the shadows.  Most disturbingly to me, someone has been using the shower when Julie’s not home.  Seriously, you don’t use someone else’s shower without asking first!

And let’s not even get started on the mysterious room that’s always locked off….

What Worked?

Vivica A. Fox has appeared in all of the “Wrong” films but usually, she’s cast in a supporting role.  She usually plays some sort of no nonsense authority figure who shows up at the end of the film to announce, “He messed with the wrong cheerleader” or “He was the wrong wholesale jewelry importer” or something like that.  In The Wrong Real Estate Agent, she played the lead role and it was a nice change of pace.  I thought she did a good job in the lead role, even if Julie sometimes seemed to be impossibly naïve.

Alaya Lee Walton also did a good job as Julie’s daughter, Maddie.  She and Fox were very believable as mother and daughter and their relationship rang true.

Finally, I loved the house!  That may sound like a small compliment but seriously, a good Lifetime film always features a great house.  So far, the “Wrong” series has been very good about using the right house.  If I ever do move to Canada, it’s going to be because of both Degrassi and the numerous Canadian produced Lifetime films that have left me convinced that every house in Toronto is a mansion.

What Did Not Work?

Charles was just a little bit too obviously crazy.  In general, it’s a good idea to suspend your disbelief when it comes to a Lifetime film and to just kind of go with whatever happens but, in this case, Charles really was so obviously unstable that you kind of wondered how anyone played by Vivica A. Fox could be naïve enough to trust him.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I related to Maddie, particularly when she argued with her mom about whether or not she should shut the window in her bedroom.  Her mom thought the open window was an invitation to sickness and danger.  Maddie knew that she had to keep the window so her boyfriend could sneak in and out of the house.  Of course, Maddie couldn’t explain that was the reason why the window needed to be open but, to her credit, Maddie stayed her calm and talked her mom into letting her keep the window open until it was time for bed.  Good job, Maddie!  I wish I had been that good at winning arguments when I was that age.

Lessons Learned

When it comes to renting or buying a house, make sure you’ve got the right real estate agent.  Because the wrong real estate agent will not only try to get you to go out of your price range (that’s something I learned from watching House Hunters) but he’ll eventually try to kill you as well.

The other thing I learned is that every profession has at least one wrong person.  Someday, I’m hoping to see a film called The Wrong Administrative Assistant or maybe The Wrong Stunt Double.  Seriously, this series can go on until the end of time.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #213: Is There A Killer On My Street? (dir by Jake Helgren)


Last night, I watched the latest “premiere” on the Lifetime Movie Network, Is There A Killer On My Street?

Why Was I Watching It?

I have to admit that Lifetime fooled me.  I thought this was a brand new movie, largely because it was listed as having been released in 2020.  When I saw that, I was like, “Well, there’s no way I’m going to miss a new Lifetime movie!  Especially one that isn’t a sentimental Christmas film!”

Well, it turns out that Is There A Killer On My Street has been around for at least two years.  It was originally released under the title The Neighborhood Nightmare, way back in 2018.  When Lifetime aired the movie, they changed the title and apparently, that was enough for this movie to reclassified as a 2020 release.

That said, I’m not angry at Lifetime.  The COVID-19 outbreak shut down a lot of productions and I can only imagine how many Lifetime movies were put on indefinite hold earlier this year.  So, Lifetime picked up an old movie and changed the title.  Big deal.  It was still new to the network, right?

Don’t worry, Lifetime.  I’ve got your back.

What Was It About?

It’s time for another round of sex and sin in the suburbs!  Having escaped from an abusive marriage, Lindsay Porter (Julie McNiven) and her teenage daughter have settled down in a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood.  (Seriously, there’s never been an ugly house in a Lifetime movie.)  Lindsay even starts to date her new neighbor, Dr. Stephen Lane (Trevor Donovan).  However, when strange things start to happen and eventually someone shows up dead, Lindsay is forced to consider how much she knows about not just Stephen but her neighbors as well!

What Worked?

I always love a good Lifetime sin-in-the-suburbs film and Is There A Killer In My Street had all the right ingredients.  Melodrama, murder, yoga, swimming pools, a good-looking cast, and a director who was willing to let everyone go just a little overboard.  This was an entertainingly sordid movie and that’s exactly what I was looking for on Friday night.

I will say that the film also did a surprisingly good job of keeping you guessing.  I thought I had figured out who the murderer would be just to then discover that I was totally wrong.  I’m usually really good at predicting who the murderer is going to be in a Lifetime whodunit so I have to give this film a lot of credit for keeping me on my toes.  I’ve seen a lot of these films and it’s always nice to discover that I can still be surprised.

What Did Not Work?

I could nitpick but screw that.  This movie was too much fun for nitpicking.  I mean, let’s be honest.  We’re all pretty much going to be stuck in our current bizarre situation for the forseesable future.  Films like Is There A Killer On My Street are going to be essential for keeping us entertained.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I appreciated that Lindsay and I both have red hair.  I share her struggle.

Lessons Learned

If you even have to ask whether or not there’s a killer on your street, you’re already in trouble.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #212: Her Deadly Groom (dir by Jared Cohn)


Last night, I turned over to Lifetime and I watched Her Deadly Groom!

Why Was I Watching It?

How couldn’t I watch it?  It was on Lifetime.

Last night, I realized that it had bee forever since I last watched and live tweeted a Lifetime film.  Some of that was due to some changes in my schedule.  On Saturday night, I now co-host the Scary Social live tweet, which means that I usually have to DVR and watch Saturday’s Lifetime movie at a later date.  And, admittedly, some of my absence from the Lifetime front just had to do with just pure exhaustion at the state of the world.  When you spend 7 days straight hearing about how the world is going to end, you often just want to spend Sunday meditating or sleeping or, at the very least, dancing.

But, regardless of what else may be happening, I love Lifetime movies and I always have.  Last night, I was determined to watch Her Deadly Groom and I’m glad that I did.

What Was It About?

Allison (Kate Watson) is divorced from George (Eric Roberts), an alcoholic and a serial philanderer.  She now lives with her daughter Nicky (Elyse Cantor) and Nicky’s boyfriend, Jake (Jacob Michael) and she has a nice specialty peanut butter business going with her friend Brenna (Kelly Erin Decker).  One thing that Allison says she doesn’t need in her life right now is another man.  Brenna, however, disagrees and creates an account for Allison on a dating site.

Soon, Allison has met Vincent Black (Michael DeVorzon), who is handsome, charming, and psychotic.  Fear not, that’s not a spoiler.  You know that Vincent is dangerous from the minute you first see him because 1) he pushes his previous girlfriend off a cliff and 2) this is a Lifetime movie.  Anyway, Vincent is soon dating Allison and it looks like they’ll soon be married.  What Allison doesn’t know is that Vincent has taken out a huge life insurance policy on her….

What Worked?

Eric Roberts was in this film!  Admittedly, he had a small role but still, he’s Eric Roberts and he’s always a lot of fun to watch.  Plus, in this film, there was a neat little twist involving his character and Roberts did a great job playing it.

One thing I liked about this film is that Vincent may have been charming and lucky but he wasn’t always the most clever con artist around.  He wasn’t one of those super villains who you occasionally come across in a film like this.  Instead, he was just a con man who knew how to manipulate people but who also understood that he would only be able to successfully fool people for a limited amount of time.  As a result, he didn’t waste any time when it came to putting his plans into action and that created some suspense.  We knew he wasn’t going to wait forever to make his move.  Vincent was a wonderfully hissable villain.

The mother-daughter relationship between Nicky and Allison felt real and both Kate Watson and Elyse Cantor did a good job of bringing their characters to life.  I appreciated the fact that, even though Allison may have been naive when it came to Vincent, she wasn’t stupid.  She was just someone who got legitimately conned by a sociopath.

Finally, this was a Lifetime film so all of the house were to die for.  Seriously, never underestimate the importance of a big house in a Lifetime film.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.  This was a fun Lifetime movie.

“Oh my God! Just Like Me” Moments

I related to Brenna, mostly because we’ve both fallen down a flight of stairs.  Of course, nobody had to push me.  I’m just a klutz when it comes to stairs.

Lessons Learned

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Oh!  And always check to see if your man has taken out a life insurance policy on you.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #211: Remember Me, Mommy? (dir by Michelle Ouellet)


Last night, I watched the premiere of one of the greatest Lifetime films of all time, Remember Me, Mommy?

Why Was I Watching It?

It was on Lifetime.  I’ve been ordered to shelter in place.  What else could I do?

Then again, even if I wasn’t on lockdown, I probably still would have watched it because this is one of those Lifetime films that takes place at a private school and features a teacher with a secret in her past and those are typically my favorite Lifetime films.  There’s just something irresistible about the mix of super snobs and dark secrets!

What Was It About?

Elena Walker (Sydney Meyer) is the newest student at Clark Academy!  She’s a scholarship student, which means that she has to deal with a lot of hazing from all of the rich kids.  It turns out that most of the students at Clark Academy have known each other for their entire lives so Elena is definitely an outsider.

However, fear not!  Elena loves to write and the school’s creative writing teacher, Rebecca (Natalie Brown), is a former scholarship student herself.  In fact, Rebecca is so impressed with Elena’s essays that she even arranges for Elena to meet with an Ivy League recruiter.  So …. yay for the scholarship students, I guess.

Except …. well, Elena may not be who she claims.  In fact, it turns out that Elena has a bad habit of killing people who get on her nerves.  It also turns out that it’s not just a coincidence that Elena showed up at Clark Academy and immediately went out of her way to bond with Rebecca.

What is Elena’s plan?  What is Rebecca’s secret?  I’m not going to spoil anything, especially since the title of the film already does that.

What Worked?

It all worked!

Seriously, this is one of the best Lifetime films that I’ve seen in a while.  Though you’ll probably guess Rebecca’s secret long before the film actually reveals it, Remember Me, Mommy? is still a lot of fun.  In the tradition of the best Lifetime films, Remember Me, Mommy? fully embraces the melodrama.  Elena never stops plotting, Rebecca never stops teaching, and the pace never slackens.

And I have to admit that, as evil as Elena was, it was hard not to like her.  She was an agent of chaos, dropped in the middle of a bunch of complacent snobs and she reacted by disrupting the status quo.  Of course, it would have been nice if she could have resisted the temptation to kill but still….

What Did Not Work?

It all worked!

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Like Elena, I always got along with my creative writing teachers.  They were some of my favorite people.

At one point in the film, Elena is accused of plagiarism and I have to admit that brought back some memories of high school math class.  I’ve always sucked at math.  It’s just not my thing.  Fortunately, I had an older sister who had taken the class a year before me and who had saved all of her tests so, whenever I had to take a test, I would just copy all the answers and …. well, technically, I guess I was cheating.  My plan, if I was ever caught, was to argue that I wasn’t so much cheating as I was just plagiarizing my sister’s answers.  Fortunately, I never got caught so I didn’t actually have to find out whether or not that argument would have worked.

Lessons Learned

Be nice to scholarship students!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #210: A Mother Knows Worst (dir by Robert Malenfant)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere, A Mother Knows Worst!

Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on Lifetime!

Plus, I loved that title.  A Mother Knows Worst!  I’m seriously hoping that, once this lockdown ends, I’ll run into a really obnoxious woman who is carrying around a baby so that I can snap at her, “A mother knows worst!”

What Was It About?

Okay, so this is kind of a complicated movie and there’s no way for me to totally tell you what it was about without spoiling some of the film’s biggest twists.  So, I’ll just tell you what it pretends to be about while assuring you that there’s a few twists and turns that make this film a bit more interesting than you might think from just reading a rudimentary plot description:

Olivia (Kate Leclerc) and Brooke (Victoria Barabas) both gave birth on the same night.  According to the hospital, Olivia’s baby died while Brooke’s survived.  6 months later, Olivia’s husband, Harry (Jeff Schine), has a job working for Brooke’s husband, Glen (Todd Cahoon).  When Olivia sees Brooke’s daughter, she says that she felt an instant connection to the baby, a connection that Brooke feels that she has yet to establish.  While Brooke is happy with the idea of Olivia helping to look after her daughter, both Harry and Glen are concerned that Olivia may be forming an unhealthy obsession with Brooke’s daughter.

Meanwhile, there’s a murderer on the loose and….

Well, that’s all I can really tell you.  I know it sounds like a typical Lifetime baby kidnapping film but you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

What Worked?

This film was full of twists and turns!  Seriously, I love Lifetime film but it’s rare that they take me by surprise.  In fact, one of the appeals of the movies they show on Lifetime is that they tend to be predictable.  A Mother Knows Worst, however, had some pretty effective surprises and it definitely kept you guessing as to who could be trusted and who should be feared.

Katie Leclerc and Jeff Schine both did a great job playing Olivia and Harry.  In fact, the whole film was pretty well-acted.  Everyone did a good job of keeping the viewers off-balance.

I loved Brooke and Glen’s house!  That pool was to die for.

What Did Not Work?

Unfortunately, towards the end of the film, there’s a lot of flashbacks and they tend to kind of bog down the film’s finale.  Though it’s a cliche, sometimes it’s best to just have the villain give a monologue explaining all of their evil deeds, especially when the other option is stopping all the action for a lengthy flashback.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Olivia had red hair just like me so, of course, I totally related to her and was on her side.  It’s a scary world out there and those of us blessed with the best hair color in the world have to stick together.

Lessons Learned

Take nothing for granted, not even the plot of the latest Lifetime film.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #209: Revenge For Daddy (dir by Tom Shell)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere, Revenge for Daddy!

Why Was I Watching It?

Well, first off, you may not have heard but the entire world is kind of shut down right now so basically, watching TV is about as wild as my Thursday night is going to get….

Then again, I would have watched it even if we weren’t on lockdown.  It’s a new Lifetime movie and you know that I love those!  I especially love Lifetime movies that have words like “Fatal,” “Wrong,” or “Revenge” in the title.  Those are usually the best.

What Was It About?

It’s been a tough year for Lisa (Sarah Butler).  Her father died under mysterious circumstances.  Her boyfriend, Bobby (Charlie Gorilla), got drunk and slept with one her co-workers, Bethany (Eva Hamilton), leaving Lisa suddenly single.  Her mother (Joely Fisher) keeps pressuring her to start dating again.  Finally, just to keep her mom happy, Lisa photoshops herself into a picture with a handsome man on a dating site.  All she wants to do is send it to her mom so her mom will get off her back.  Instead, it leads to the man in the picture, Michael (Clayton James), tracking her down.  Soon, Lisa and Michael are dating for real!

But can Michael be trusted?  It turns out that Michael has a somewhat shady past which includes at least one mysterious death.  Michael says he’s innocent but when one of Lisa’s co-workers shows up dead (and, even worse, when it appears that someone is trying to frame Lisa for the murder), Lisa starts to have her doubts….

What Worked?

This one was fun.  I mean, let’s be honest.  When it comes to most Lifetime melodramas, you’re not exactly looking for a realistic examination of all the world’s troubles.  You’re looking for twists and turns and melodrama, preferably taking place in a nice house where everyone is either handsome or pretty and everyone wears nice clothes.  Revenge For Daddy delivered all of that with the style.

The cast was uniformly good and the film actually did a pretty good job of keeping you guessing as to whether or not Michael was who he said he was.  The film even managed to work in a few moments of intentional humor in the middle of all the drama and the mystery.  All in all, this was one an enjoyable and entertaining Lifetime film.

I really liked the office where Lisa and her friends worked.  It was nicely designed and, even more importantly, it didn’t seem like anyone really had to do much work.  It seems like it would be a fun place from which to collect a paycheck.

What Didn’t Work?

It all worked!  To repeat, this was an enjoyable and entertaining Lifetime film.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

The main character was named Lisa!  You don’t get much more like me than that.

Lessons Learned

There were definitely lessons learned but I can’t really share them without spoiling the film’s ending.  So, you’ll have to watch and learn for yourself!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #208: Into The Arms Of Danger (dir by Jeff Hare)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere, Into the Arms of Danger!

Why Was I Watching?

The obvious answer is that I was watching it because it was on Lifetime.  However, I was also watching because I absolutely loved the title.  Into the Arms of Danger is just so wonderfully overdramatic that there was no way I could resist it.

What Was It About?

Basically, it’s a Lifetime version of the classic 1980 grindhouse film, Mother’s Day.  Two weird brothers pretend to be EMTs and kidnap young women, forcing them to go home and pretend to be a member of their family.  They do it all to keep their crazy mother (Cathy Moriarty) happy.

In this film, their latest victim is Jenny (AlexAnn Hopkins), who is kidnapped after she wrecks her car and makes the mistake of calling 911.  (The brothers basically intercept 911 calls, which was kind of weird.)  Jenny just wanted to go to college and get away from her overprotective mother, Laura (Laurie Fortier).  Instead, she’s now being held prisoner and is forced to wear an explosive ankle bracelet.  It kind of sucks.

Laura knows that her daughter has been kidnapped but she can’t get the police to take her seriously.  They think that Jenny has either just run away or maybe she’s gotten involved with drugs.  Either way, they’re attitude is, “Don’t bother us with their domestic problems.”  So, it’s up to Laura to figure out what has happened to her daughter and to rescue her from the …. ARMS OF DANGER!

What Worked?

AlexAnn Hopkins and Laurie Fortier were believable as mother and daughter.  You believed that they not only cared about each other but that they also frequently got annoyed with each other.  That’s the secret to realistically portraying a mother/daughter relationship on film.  You have to capture both the love and the annoyance.

Cathy Moriarty gave a good performance as the demented mother.  For film buffs, Moriarty is a bit of a legendary figure.  She made her film debut in Raging Bull and received an Oscar nomination. She was incredible in Raging Bull and still is a great actress.  Unfortunately, shortly after making her debut, Moriarty was in a serious car accident and spent several years recovering.  As a result, when she returned to films, she rarely got the type of huge roles that she undoubtedly deserved.  She’s still one of those actresses who, when you see her name in the credits, you know that she’s going to give a good performance.

In fact, the whole crazy family dynamic was well-done.  They reminded me a bit of the family from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, just with less blood and cannibalism.

What Did Not Work?

Usually, I can suspend my disbelief when it comes to Lifetime films.  I mean, we don’t watch these films because we’re expecting them to be a 100% realistic.  But the whole thing with the brothers pretending to be EMTs was just a bit too much for me to buy.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

More like, “Oh my God!  Just like my mom!” moments.  As soon as Laura jumped in her car and drove all the way out to a party just to keep Jenny from accepting help from a strange boy, I was like, “Oh my God, I know just how Jenny feels!”  Myself, I would always very dramatically roll my eyes and go, “Mom!” whenever stuff like that happened.  Looking back, my mom was usually right, though.

Lessons Learned

If you wreck your car, never call 911.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #207: The Black Widow Killer (dir by Adrian Langley)


Last night, I turned over to Lifetime and I watched the latest “premiere,” The Black Widow Killer!

Why Was I Watching It?

I was hoping it would be about Natasha Romanoff and her life before she joined the Avengers.  It turned out I was wrong though I’m sure that the possibility of confusion was one reason why Lifetime scheduled this film for last night.  You may have noticed that I earlier said that this movie was a “premiere” as opposed to just a premiere.  That’s because The Black Widow Killer originally aired in Canada in 2018.  It subsequently played on both French and Spanish TV before Lifetime decided to air it here in the States.  I’m sure that Lifetime’s decision was influenced by the title and the possibility that people would tune in to see Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh battling the latest addition to the MCU’s gallery of rogues.

That said, the main reason that I watched it was because it was on Lifetime!  Seriously, I love that network.  Have you noticed?

What’s It About?

Secrets, lies, death, and murder.  There’s a killer in town and all of the victims knew each other in high school and were involved in a gruesome car accident back in the day.  Is the killer seeking revenge or is there another motive?  By the end of the movie, who will still be alive and what will be left of them?

What Worked?

I liked the cinematography.  The film took place in one of those small towns where it’s constantly snowing and the film manages to make white ground and frozen breath look really ominous.  I was not surprised to discover that the director is also a very experienced cinematographer because the film looked great.

I liked some of the performances.  (Some is the word to remember.)  Morgan Kohan and Bradley Hamilton did good work as the children of two potential victims.  Luigi Saracino was also well-cast as the most obvious suspect.  (Of course, you know what they say about obvious suspects….)

What Did Not Work?

So, if you’re going to make a movie about a bunch of people being targeted by a serial killer, it might help if at least some of the potential victims were likable.  In this case, though, absolutely none of them were.  Even the film’s main character, Judy Dwyer (played by Erin Karpluk), refused to really take any responsibility for her part in covering up the auto accident.  When we first meet Judy, she’s whining about her husband not serving her divorce papers in person.  Then, about halfway through the film, she starts whining about being targeted by someone whose life she helped ruin.  You start to wonder if the other victims are really being murdered or if Judy’s just talking them to death.

This isn’t really the filmmaker’s fault but the description for the film in the guide basically gave away the identity of the murderer.  As a result, it’s hard for me to say how suspenseful the film is because I already knew who the murderer was going to be.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I have red hair and so did Judy’s daughter!  Sorry, that’s about all I can come up with as far as this movie’s concerned.

Lessons Learned

Take responsibility for your mistakes or you might get in trouble 25 years later.